I recently came over this question

I am trying to implement duplicate file finder in visual C++. I followed this link Successful implementation of Duplicate Files Finder in C++ But it don't have md5.h file. From where I can get this header file. Thanks

That's obviously not asking for a code review, but how to find a 3rd party resource.

At the Stack Overflow site there's a close reason stating:

Questions asking us to recommend or find a book, tool, software library, tutorial or other off-site resource are off-topic for Stack Overflow as they tend to attract opinionated answers and spam. Instead, describe the problem and what has been done so far to solve it.

Doesn't the same apply here?

I used a custom comment to vote for closure, but I'm just wondering why there's no stock close reason available for such situation.

Our stock off-topic close reasons are:

  • Questions containing broken code or asking for advice about code not yet written are off-topic, as the code is not ready for review. After the question has been edited to contain working code, we will consider reopening it.
  • Questions must involve real code that you own or maintain. Pseudocode, hypothetical code, or stub code should be replaced by a concrete implementation. Questions seeking an explanation of someone else's code are also off-topic.
  • Questions must include the code to be reviewed. Links to code hosted on third-party sites are permissible, but the most relevant excerpts must be embedded in the question itself.
  • This question belongs on another site in the Stack Exchange network

None of these really applies well.

Should we have another reason similar as provided at Meta SE (adapted for SE Code Review of course):

  • Blatantly off-topic (this question doesn't have anything to do with a code review)

2 Answers 2


I used a custom comment to vote for closure, but I'm just wondering why there's no stock close reason available for such situation.

The short answer is we simply don't get enough of those questions to warrant a stock close reason.

There are a couple of categories of questions which are so blatantly off-topic but not asked often enough to warrant a stock close reason. You can only have so many stock close reasons so we use the ones most commonly occurring (roughly, the long story is a bit more complicated).

Worth noting the list is always open for debate and we're currently revisiting the list.

Your suggestion of adding a 'blatantly off-topic' reason isn't much different than the current 'Other' option. The 'Other' option leaves room for an automatic comment, in which it could be useful to redirect to the help center [help/on-topic].

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, you're right. That situation is really rare. So just taking a minute to write a custom close reason seems to be well acceptable. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 21:51

There is no need for such a reason, because such questions generally also violate other existing requirements.

In this case, if you can't find a particular header file or library to build the code, then it's broken code.

I've seen other questions that ask for a tutorial or book. Those are generally off-topic due to broken code or asking for an explanation of code. If the tutorial request is just a supplementary question on top of an otherwise reasonable Code Review question, then we can just edit out the off-topic part that asks for a tutorial.


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